I don’t know about you but 2022 , well, I can’t decide if it got off to a slow start or is just flying on through.
I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago but had a few technical issues (the format of the photos changed and I didn’t know what to do!), anyway, I decided just to post it. After all, so much of it can apply at anytime. Hope you have a good day!
Sometimes I think I have magpie tendencies. I like nothing better than to gather together bright shiny strands from all parts of my life. This then, helps me to build a sort of collage picture of hope.
I don’t think I’m alone in finding January and February a bit challenging but this is the recipe I’m using right at this very minute to help me and I hope that in some way it may help or inspire you too.
Taking a look around the garden and spotting this sedum popping through.
At times like these, when the dark winter days are slowly, slowly changing to the brighter days of spring I remind myself it can be a good thing to think small to get started with. Progress doesn’t have to be big to be effective. So it was interesting for me to read the title Anya Hindmarsh chose for her autobiography: ‘If In Doubt, Wash Your Hair’. In fact it made me laugh as, over the years, I’ve developed my own wee routine for those days of doubt.
So here it is, my six-step plan. For the days when I wake up and don’t know where to begin.
Brush my teeth
Have a shower
Go for a walk
Do the dishes
Make a pot of soup and then eat a big bowl of it!
Phone a friend/ family member.
Is there something you would add to make it super-duper seven step plan? (Or should that be ‘souper-duper’?)
Bonus soup recipe – with thanks to my Mum and most, likely, the Woman’s Weekly.
2 mugs red lentils – rinsed
1 onion – diced
5 carrots – peeled and diced
2 pints of water
2 tins of Heinz tomato soup
Optional: fennel seeds, celery – any old vegetables you have to hand.
Put everything in a large soup pot except for the tins of soup. Cook for 45 minutes, add in the tins of soup and heat through and it’s ready to serve! This also freezes very well.
Book: ‘Do One Thing Every Morning to Make Your Day’
Poem for Every Night of the Year’ Edited by Allie Esiri.
Today I wanted to write the word ‘butterflies’ and found myself writing ‘beautiful’.
I have been on the search for positive news, heartwarming stories like that of musician Paul Harvey whose son recorded him improvising a song and now Sir Tom Hunter has donated a million pounds to split between Music for Dementia and The Alzheimer’s Society. (It’s worth reading the article right to the very last line!)
Listening to an interview with Richard Osman from ‘Pointless’ I loved the fact that he mentioned there are ‘nice people out there’. It’s true, it’s just not often that the news chooses to focus on this. Why is that? Why is the news skewed to all the negative stories? Why was the one last positive story at the end of the news laughed at and finally removed?
Why don’t we demand that the news is more balanced, after all, aren’t we all trying to find more balance in our lives?
Reading the book ‘The Salt Path’ by Raynor Winn reminded me of the kindness of strangers. It was heartwarming while at the same time it did make me stop and think, am I that stranger?
The days grow colder and darker and we search for warmth, can we help spread a little warmth too?
I am reading ‘Hamnet’ by Maggie O’Farrell and ‘The Children of Castle Rock’ by Natasha Farrant.
The other morning a lovely friend asked if I had written a blog post recently, in case she’d missed it.
Well, I hadn’t. The question, and the discussion that followed, inspired me though. I did have something I wanted to say, to share.
I wrapped up warmly and watched a blackbird as he sat on a branch eating rowan berries. I listened to the cracking of ice on a puddle when I couldn’t resist stepping on it. Then I went home to switch the kettle on for a hot cup of tea.
Reflecting on this I realise all the senses are covered apart from smell. Well, I think it was too cold!
Still, I have actually baked our Christmas cake – super early this year for me – and the smell of it baking was a real treat. This preparation, the making of the cake, is filled with hope.
As was planting the Hyacinth bulbs at the weekend and even, for my first time ever, planting an Amaryllis bulb. Watching Carole Baxter in the Beechgrove garden has inspired me and I thought I’d give it a go. Watch this space!
So a simple question about this blog has made me reflect on so many things, made me be grateful for friendships and realise how much hope there is at this time of year.
September spiders, weaving webs from window to washing line.
A new academic year, time to refresh, rethink, reconsider.
Will we look at the web we’ve built for ourselves?
This is a new beginning, brighter, warmer, sunnier than January 1st. Life is full of hope and possibilities. New opportunities.
September sun shining after a cleansing downpour and it’s time to declutter. Do I need quite so many things? Can they be recycled, reused?
It’s the same with the garden. Time to tidy up, wash out all the pots ready for next year.
Amidst these thoughts for the future, I’m going to take a moment to think of all the good things. Yes, it’s exhilarating to plan new adventures but I think the starting point must be where I celebrate all the lovely people in my life and the successes, large and small.
Wishing you a happy, sunny and successful September! What will you celebrate?
“By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.”
– Helen Hunt Jackson, September, 1830-1885
I found myself watching the last fifteen minutes of The Apprentice this week.
One of the finalists was accused of being too cautious when it came to her use of technology. Well now, I thought, that I can understand! In fact, I’m sure my family would consider there to be a real similarity between me and the contestant in this regard!
It has taken me years to begin writing a blog. I only recently joined Twitter. I have been sporadic on Facebook and I opened a Pinterest account years ago and have only recently put anything on it! Oh well, c’est la vie!
So on this cold morning as Jack Frost spreads his swirling spirals ever further, I began to think about it all and realised that technology has opened some interesting doors.
Through Facebook I’ve become a member of bookclubs and stayed in contact with my family and so many lovely people I’ve met on my travels.